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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

This year, discover how far adventure will take you.


Andy SerkisAndy Serkis

Cary Elwes

Daniel Craig

Daniel Mays

Jamie BellJamie Bell

Mackenzie Crook

Nick Frost

Phillip Rhys

Sebastian Roche

Simon Pegg

Toby Jones

Tony Curran

Directed by:

Steven Spielberg

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 107 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG

Country: United States, New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Adapting popular comic book creation Tintin for the big screen is a tough one. Like with Lord of the Rings and Star Wars you have rabid purists out there who are ready and willing to eat anyone alive who will besmirch the reputation of their Precious. So, Stevie Spielberg is a brave man for taking on the 2011 version of this famous Belgian creation.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn sees the bequiffed one (Bell) uncovering a manuscript detailing the whereabouts of a fabulous treasure after buying a replica sailing ship off a street trader. The evil Sakharine (Craig) is also after this precious map and will stop at nothing to get it. Tintin enlists the help of the perpetually drunk but helpful Captain Haddock (Serkis – who else would you expect in a stop motion movie) and, of course, runs into bumbling inspectors Thompson and Thomson (Frost and Pegg).

To begin with, the animation of the ultra realistic locations and the epic action scenes look incredible thereby creating a really impressive spectacle. The characters however, frankly look creepy. It’s the whole ‘uncanny valley’ effect – which dogged other efforts such as Beowulf and The Polar Express – where the animation of the human characters gets so lifelike it turns from cute to creepy and the film is given a soulless feel and certainly cuts out the charm of Herge’s comic books. Adults will be perplexed and kids will be disturbed and the question remains – how will this final frontier of animation be crossed?

The story itself is pretty interesting and the action is fast-paced and engaging. There are enough humourous bits and quality one-liners to keep adults and kids entertained. Also, the eclectic group of voiceover Brits have been chosen well and give at least the sound of the film a nice feel. Ultimately, though the uncanny valley is in the way.


It's Got: A good voiceover cast, impressive action, just enough humour


The uncanny valley effect strikes again as a largely good film is ruined by freaky animation that’s more unnerving than any horror.

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